Brendan Rodgers hosted his final pre-match press conference of the season at Melwood on Friday morning. Here's what the boss said in full ahead of the trip to Stoke City.
Brendan, Jordon Ibe and Jon Flanagan have signed new deals. Your reaction to that?
Delighted. Two very important young players for the now and for the future of the club. I'm delighted because both players thoroughly deserve it and it allows them to concentrate on the next part of their careers here at our great club.
Obviously Raheem Sterling falls into that category of young player. With the events of this week, the meeting that was planned for today and the talk of 'bullying' in attempts to sign a new deal and things like that, what is your perspective on what has gone on this week and how we have got to this situation now?
It's very difficult to comment on what other people speak about, but we've always been very, very clear here at Liverpool - if we have any meetings or discussions to take place, whether it's with players, manager or whatever, it'll all be dealt with internally. We don't like to publicise what we're going to do. We just look to do it in-house and as privately as possibly can be. The concentration for myself is to continue to improve Raheem as a football player. The facts of everything are very, very simple - whether there were talks or no talks, Raheem has two years left on his deal at Liverpool. I expect him to see that two years through and continue to behave as immaculately as he's done in the time I've been at the club. For me, it's quite simple.
After that meeting was cancelled - and why was that meeting cancelled? - how do you seek a resolution given he has got two years left on his deal, because you can't have a situation where a player is unhappy for those two years, can you?
No, and I don't see Raheem being unhappy. Raheem's representative made it very clear they wanted to speak at the end of the season, so for us our concentration is really on the last game of the season. Then I'm sure talks will take place over the course of the summer. I don't see Raheem unhappy. He's a young boy who has developed incredibly well over the course of the last nearly three seasons and we hope that development will take place further here.
What impact has this had on your relationship with the player and is he going to be available, or are you taking him out of the first-team picture this weekend?
No, if he's fit, which at this moment in time he is, he'll be available for selection like he has been nearly every game. My relationship hasn't been affected at all. I've given Raheem an opportunity to play for one of the greatest clubs in the world and he's done exceptionally well in taking that opportunity. What goes on with contracts - and of course we want to resolve the situation with respect to that - it doesn't change my approach to him. I still always maintain this is a really, really good boy, a good kid, who has matured very, very well over the last few years. He is a wonderful young football player and that is my only concentration. There is no problem there.
Are you disappointed about how public and ugly this has all got in the last week or so?
Your preference - and how we like to work here - is to keep everything behind closed doors. I can't speak for what other people may say or do, we can only control our own business here.
In terms of Raheem, there was a small reaction to him at the Players' Awards. Are you concerned ahead of the game at Stoke that because this situation has escalated, that might be worse from the fans?
Listen, the Liverpool supporters always back their own players. If he starts or doesn't start at the weekend, or plays any part in the game, he will get the support of the supporters. The away support in particular has been absolutely incredible. Every game, the stands are packed and they give us great support, and that's for every single player. I wouldn't expect that to change.
Did Raheem tell you he wanted to go before that game at Chelsea?
What he said and didn't say will always be between him and I.
Does the fact that his agent is now so publicly coming out and saying that Raheem wants to go, does that not make this situation untenable? The fact that you're not able to say he didn't tell you that suggests there is something in this...
Whatever conversation I would have with a player or a member or staff will always remain [private]. It's as simple as that, I won't sit here and tell you what a private conversation entailed. What he said and didn't say will remain between us.
Have the owners been involved at all? Yesterday's decision to cancel the meeting with the ongoing situation suddenly so public, they were obviously heavily involved in a similar situation with Luis Suarez a few years ago and dug their heels in there so are they saying there's absolutely no way this player is sold as well?
I think the owners have shown their strength in their time here. They took over a club a number of years ago that was in a really, really critical situation and they've done an incredible job over these last numbers of years to stabilise the club and point the club in the right direction. In every opportunity they've had to show that strength, whether it's with a player or other elements of the club, they've done that. In this situation, like in other situations, they will show that power and strength again.
You've shown in the past you can maybe talk a player round like Luis Suarez, who seemed destined to leave, do you think it could happen again with Raheem?
It's not the talk for today, really. It's for talk about the game. I talk constantly with the players, there's regular communication and Raheem's no different to that. But the simple fact is Raheem has got two years left on his contract here and that's where it stands at the moment.
You've yet to mathematically get European qualification - how much is that in your mind ahead of the final game?
I've said at the beginning of the season that [the aim] is to finish as high as we possibly can. That is the aim for the game. Our season doesn't finish until the whistle blows on Sunday so it'll be a tough game for us away at Stoke but we go there and we want to finish the season strong. I always believe it's a good sign of the team if they can keep going to the very end and that'll be our ambition against Stoke.
It's Steven Gerrard's last game for Liverpool on Sunday. After the emotion of last week how able is he to take part in the game?
He'll be very able. I'm sure for Steven it's been a huge relief. Leading into your last game at Anfield, which has been his home for 17 years, there was probably a whole load of emotion in that last week for him. Unfortunately we couldn't get the result, our performance level wasn't what we expected, but I think the crowd and the supporters recognised the moment and gave him a great send-off. So I'm sure for him it's a huge sigh of relief and now - which he has - he can work well this week and concentrate on Sunday's game.
Ahead of the final game, how do you reflect on the season?
I'll do that at the end of the season!
How are you squad-wise?
We've got most players fit and available. Mario will be a doubt so we will see how he is over the next couple of days but apart from that most are fit.